A variety of birds were spread along the far side of the pond and many of the Great Egrets were just standing around while American Avocet and American White Pelicans came and went. This pair seemed to be on the lookout for something.
One did fly in and join the group. I suspect those posts are the remnants of a duck blind.
The Great Egret made the typical graceful landing and the others paid no attention.
Bear Island Wildlife Management Area, SC
February 17, 2021
I spotted this Snowy Egret while I was watching the Little Blue Heron Fishing in my last post. That’s the Ashley River at high tide behind him.
He stayed put basking in the sun as I got a bit closer for a clearer look.
He obliged me with poses of both sides and I couldn’t decide which I like better. The full shadow of his beak on his chest in the above image is kind of cool, but seeing his full eye as below is always a winner.
Back and forth, this Little Blue Heron was working the perimeter of a small pond.
We’ve had a tremendous amount of rain the last ten days and water is pushing up and even overflowing many pond edges, giving these birds the shallow water they prefer for hunting.
Add that it was a bit warmer and thousands of minnows were zooming around in the water and the Little Blue had a great hunting ground. Even with all that bounty he was slow and methodical, sticking to his process.
The big pond at Donnelley Wildlife Management Area is dotted with these little islands covered with clumps of marsh grasses. Maybe not quite technically hummocks, as I’m not sure the ground is in a mound or if the grass is just thriving in a clump.
It’s not uncommon to see Black-crowned Night-herons tucked into the grass, but on this cold day they were joined by a Great Egret and a Double-crested Cormorant was bobbing in the water. I couple other Night Herons came and went while I was watching.
Look closely and those little blurs are Swallows zipping through the air. By 11:30 AM it had warmed up enough for insects to be active at the water surface.
This was the scene under the Spoonbill Tree at Donnelley Wildlife Management Area on a recent cold and windy morning. The Roseate Spoonbills were wisely at the back of the pond, tucked under a bigger tree.
A few Gallinules were popping in and out view and the Great Blue Heron seemed on the verge of doing something as he repositioned several times.
The GBH moved back into the water when a Great Egret appeared. This dead tree, which has been a great perch for a Roseate Spoonbills over the last few years, has taken another step towards its end as another good size limb has fallen off this winter.
I was expecting the Heron to drive off the other birds the way he came back around the front of the island all puffed up.
But he decided to ignore whatever was going on behind him at least for the moment, as one lone gull paddled by.